Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Mike Gallagher, CEO of Centro Inc., gave the 2017 keynote address at the Memphis Business Journal's Small Business Awards amid an evening of laughter, tears and an enormous amount of entrepreneurial spirit. In 2016 Gallagher took home the MBJ's Executive of the Year Award after leading Centro to win the Small Business of the Year award in 2012 and cracking the Top 100 privately held business list in 2014.
In his address he pointed out the crucial importance of people. "No matter how good your ideas are, it always comes down to the people on your team." Therefore a good leader works hard to:
Gallagher concluded with the philosophy that has made Centro a success: the right people, doing the right things, sharing a clear vision of how everyone benefits. " Then all you have to do is work hard, remain consistent and never give up."
- Treat people as you would want to be treated
- Demonstrate appreciation and respect of your employees and between employees
- Demonstrate that there are no unimportant jobs—we are all part of a team that pulls together on the same end of the rope
- Make sure that a rising tide raises all boats—we are all in this together and we share the tough and the good times
- Provide people with a consistency of purpose
- Make sure that people know that you are working in the collective best interests of all
Gallagher worked for large corporations before purchasing Centro in 2001 from its original founders, risking the majority of his net worth in the process after he liquidated his 401(k) and took out multiple mortgages on his home.
Since then, the company has grown steadily, making key acquisitions across the Mid-South.
Centro currently has more than 100 employees across nine states.